Hotel Frank fires key union organizer

Hotel Frank has been picketed for its union busting activities and mistreatment of employees such as Marc Norton.

Managers at Hotel Frank, who have been sparring with their employees since taking over the financially troubled hotel following a bank foreclosure earlier this year, last week fired an outspoken union organizer on the day after the hotel was targeted by a boisterous picket line. But the employee, longtime bellman Marc Norton, said this transparent effort to intimidate the workers won't work.

“They think if they get rid of me their problems will go away, but it's closer to the opposite that's true,” Norton, a longtime local progressive activist, told the Guardian. “They think they got rid of me, but now they've turned me into a full-time organizer.”

Norton and his union, Unite-Here Local 2, will fight back starting tomorrow (Tues/5) with another protest in front of the hotel, 386 Geary Street, starting at 4:15 pm. Hotel Frank, which was named after notorious landlord Frank Lembi, is one of 10 local hotels on the boycott list of Local 2, whose workers have been agitating for a new contract since theirs expired last year.

The Hotel Frank and its sister Hotel Metropolis in May were taken over by Wells Fargo, which turned over management to the Portland, Ore-based Provenance Hotels, whose local managers unilaterally increased workloads and slashed employee benefits at the unionized hotels, according the employees and their union. Provenance officials refused to comment for my last story and did not return another phone call today on the firing of Norton and another union organizer.

In addition to the protests, Norton has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that his dismissive was illegal retaliation for legally protected union organizing, a complaint that Norton believes will be decided in his favor: “It'll happen, it's just a matter of when.”


What is this doing here right in the middle of ELECTION SEASON?

My God, is tomorrow still the day after today?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

Perhaps hotel owners should talk to Bruce Brugmann, he would show them how to break a union as he did it with your very own paper's employees, when they tried to unionize!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 6:02 am

Are these people aware of how many unemployed people are out here? How many people would jump for joy at a job that paid $17-20 an hour, even without benefits?

I can tell you that thousands of people would line up for these jobs, should the hotel hire "replacements" should the union strike. Those "replacements" could end up being there for years.

The arrogance of the hotel unions in these economic times is breathtaking. Their labor is mostly unskilled, and there are plenty of folks looking for work.

Posted by Scott on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 11:56 am

Yes, hotel workers are aware of how many unemployed people there are -- including two Hotel Frank workers who were fired for standing up for their rights.

None of the Union workers at either hotel are paid $17 an hour, much less $20. Wells Fargo and Provenance are paying exactly $00.00 for medical or pension benefits.

Hotel workers are hardly "unskilled." For example, we are very skilled at dealing professionally with rude, arrogant and ignorant people like Scott.

Try cleaning 14-15 rooms per day, every day, and doing it right, and then tell us we don't deserve respect and decent pay.

Boycott Hotel Frank and Hotel Metropolis!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

isn't the union minimum wage for non-tipped employees over $17 an hour?? I have a friend who works the front desk at a local hotel and is a local 2 member and he makes slightly more then that.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

I have no problem with the right to peaceful demonstration, but Marc Norton and his cronies are absolutely disgusting human beings. Their berating of innocent bystanders is exactly why people are sick of unions in this country.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

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